JOSH Bates has revealed he would like to return to the Coventry Bees next year after scoring a paid 16 in his farewell home meeting as Gary Havelock’s side dented Lakeside’s play-off hopes with an emphatic 57-33 victory at Brandon last Friday, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
The home side were without skipper Chris Harris due to Saturday’s Grand Prix of Poland, but team mate Bates collected a total of ten points from his four rides in a strong all-round display.
“I wasn’t making good starts,” said Bates. “The engine I’ve got from Brian Karger is working really well around here at the moment.
“I’m happy to get double figures again especially as it’s my last meeting at home, but I really want to be back here next year – we’ll have to see what Mick Horton says.
“This has been the best Elite League club I’ve ridden for, everyone in the club has been good and I’ve really enjoyed the season.”
The Bees were hampered by a heat one last place from Krzysztof Kasprzak and a tapes offence from James Sarjeant in the next which saw him handicapped.
Back-to-back maximum heat advantages followed with Kasprzak partnering Danny King to a 5-1 in heat three with King quickly passing Kim Nilsson, and Sarjeant also hit back well to join Kacper Woryna for maximum points in heat four.
Former Bees rider Edward Kennett stemmed the tide with a race win for the Hammers in heats five and eight.
The Bees were 14 points up courtesy of a Garrity and Bates 5-1 in heat nine with Garrity producing a spectacular swoop off turn two to hit the front.
Hammers guest Scott Nicholls failed to score on a tactical ride as the hugely impressive Bates took the race lead, and although the ever-trying Kennett overhauled King off turn four, Bates held his nerve to take the win.
Bates was also on-song when he did not make the start, as shown by his excellent ride in heat 12 to pass first Lewis Kerr and then Robert Mear to team-up with Sarjeant for another 5-1.
Nicholls managed to split Kasprzak and King in heat 13 but the Bees were 51-27 up, with the final two races shared as the Hammers avoided further damage.
King and Woryna both overtook Bridger to prevent a Lakeside 5-1 in heat 14 as Kim Nilsson took the win, and Nicholls collected a victory in heat 15 despite the considerable efforts of Bates and Garrity, who also kept Kennett at the back.
Havelock’s side are next in action when they travel to Belle Vue.